Vasil “The Skull” Bojkov, the richest man in Bulgaria, is speculated to have been associated with mafia activity for quite some time. Although some actions of his can possibly be mistaken for something more sinister, there exists hardly any evidence to back up these claims.
1989 was the year that communism fell in Bulgaria. This signified a desperate necessity for increase in economy and for that reason it was an excellent time for anybody to put together a business; Lachezar Bogdanov, manager of the Bulgarian economic think tank Industry Watch, stated that, “You could get a three bedroom flat in Sofia for $4,000”. If everything was this cheap in that time, there could be no need to turn to criminal activity within the quest for wealth. Bojkov opened his first business, a foreign currency exchange, in 1990 which very quickly evolved into a chain due to these circumstances.
Together with two partners, Bojkov could then start up a ga-mbling company in 1991. From only one cas-ino on the Hotel Rila in Sofia, this business erupted into essentially countless casi-nos through the country. This is particularly intriguing because, despite the economic state, it would’ve taken a lot of careful planning and preparation to achieve success such as this. Bojkov needed to put considerable time, money and extremely dedicated hard work into his business and in a year, he had enough profit to start a holding company- Nove Holding. It envelopes over 30 companies today and this does not include its’ countless subsidiaries. One clients are Eurofootball, a betting agency that numerous are aware of. In 1994, he even opened his very own bank known as the Bulgarian Commercial Industrial Bank.
Many people may be suspicious as to how Bojkov acquired his curious nickname ‘The Skull’. Most might think that it provides something to do with his alleged criminal history, however it provides much more innocent roots. The nickname originated from his childhood. Being a youth, he was slender and bony which highlighted his facial features. For this reason, other children nicknamed him ‘Skull’ which caught on and is also now used more humorously than anything.
One of the greatest concerns surrounding Bojkov is the peculiar idea that he is some type of ‘mafia kingpin’; apparently, despite success from countless others in much harsher economic climates, you can only attain so much power through illegal means. True, the unfortunate coincidence of his nickname and status can appear unsettling, but there isn’t any evidence to exhibit he’s done anything wrong in the entire 61 numerous years of living. Actually his numerous acts of philanthropy claim that these claims could not really further through the truth.
Some sources have brought up a leaked US CDA report during 2009 on the most wanted criminals in Bulgaria. While Vassil Bojkov is on this list, along with the Margin Brothers, the Beret and the Galev Brothers, there are several points to be addressed.
To start with, the report states that Bojkov is “moving from the organised crime business”. If he was involved to start with, that is very unlikely, this should reveal that he’s turning his life around. He may be seeking to correct his wrongfully assigned reputation. He could be doing things in an entirely different context than what you should think. There is absolutely no evidence to aid that he is anyone besides a hard working and opportunistic business man who worked his way to the peak.
Secondly, the crimes ‘committed’ by him are very tame as compared to the other criminal figures. Allegedly, he is involved with money laundering, racketeering and illegal antique dealing at worst. Not only will there be such miniscule evidence for this particular, these crimes are nothing in comparison to horrible such things as human trafficking, drug smuggling and contract killings committed by other authoritative figures in Bulgaria. There is certainly pure speculation at many of these artefacts being illegal.
Thirdly, the antique dealing is both tough to avoid and evidently, avoided whenever possible by Bojkov. They have an extraordinary collection of over 3000 artefacts depicting ancient Greek, Thracian as well as some Roman history. The restoration of lost ancient Bulgarian culture is one of his main priorities and that he did a lot of work for the history and economy of Bulgaria.
One thing we know for sure about Bojkov is the fact that they have a sense of humour. Smiling or chuckling when asked about his involvement with crime, most can see that he’s just pointing out the absurdity inside the situation. With divzna hard he’s worked, how plausible his story is with no evidence to support any allegations against him, can he really be as bad as people say? If something, he is extremely determined and willing to perform a lot for his goal; whether that be restoring history, supporting the Bulgarian emergency services or supporting himself financially.
Another fairly interesting thing about Vasil Bojkov is the fact that they have never actually been taken to court. Without actual proof his ‘crimes’ throughout his 38 many years of owning businesses, shouldn’t someone have discovered something right now?
We have seen a lot of discussion surrounding what Bojkov has supposedly done in terms of organised crime, but his philanthropic actions tend to go unnoticed more often than not. For example, He has an entire fleet of jets & helicopters that are lent towards the government to be able to assist with the exceedingly high crime rate and medical emergency services in Bulgaria. They have also dedicated years to his variety of ancient artefacts and restoring this history through exhibitions and books. There is a great deal he’s done for his country which could get ignored over something that probably isn’t true.
In reality, one of the primary areas afflicted with Bojkov is sport. For instance, when he was chairman of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, Bulgaria was ranked 1st- for both men and women. When he was chairman in the Bulgarian Federation of Sports Shooting, three gold olympic medals were won. As he owned the CSKA football team, they even won against Liverpool in 2002. This just would go to show how integral Bojkov is included in Bulgaria and a national treasure himself.